Flight Simulator X Build

I'm building a computer for someone who wants it specifically for Flight Sim X. Its important it runs Flight Sim X the best, for the budget, which is quite limited ($550), so he is sacrificing how future proof it is as long as it runs this game well. Already have Windows XP.

*Note this rig will not be overclocked.

Here is what I have so far.

Case: Cooler Master Elite 330 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119115 $39.99

PSU: Apevia ATX-CW500WP4 500 watt ATX http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817148027 $34.99

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P31-ES3G http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128356 $62.99

CPU: Intel Pentium E5400 2.7 GHz 2MB L2 Cache http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116076 $99

Memory: A-Data 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800 PC2-6400 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211188 $38.99

GPU: BFG Tech GeForce GTX 260 896 MB 448-bit 216 Stream procs http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814143155 $179.99

Harddrive: Western Digital WD1600AAJS 160 GB 7200 RPM Sata II 8MB Cache http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136075 $41.99

Optical Drive: Samsung 22x DVD+-RW Sata http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151171 $23.99

Total is $560 after shipping, (so I'm already $10 over which I'm not worried about).

My question to you is, should I got ATI on graphics (if I recall FSX likes nVidia more then ATI and the card I put on there is a beefy nVidia card). Should I get a quad core processor, and a weaker graphics card? I think I've got the best bang for the buck. He was quite pleased with FSX performance on my rig which is in my profile, and this computer has a much better GPU, with a CPU only 100 MHz slower (my CPU was only running at 2.8 GHz at the time he saw it).

Thanks!
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  1. My understanding is the Flight Sim X was highly cpu dependant, I could be wrong. Don't get that powersupply. Get a good quality one from PC power and cooling, antec, or the like. A bad powersupply could destroy all of your components. You sacrificed a lot of components to get that graphics card. A more balanced system should have a low end core2duo that can be overclocked. Your previous computer has a better cpu. You can't just compare clock speeds. For the clock, a Core2duo is better than a pentium.
  2. That psu won't work for that card. The card needs two 6 pin connectors and that psu only has one. That and it's junk.
  3. Greg the Pentium e5400 should be quite a bit faster then the e4400 at stock speeds (all the specs are better are they not)?

    I'll also say it again, I will not be overclocking this build. So if you have a better CPU suggestion I would be interested in it based on its stock performance, not potential performance after overclocking

    As far as the PSU goes, what would you suggest instead? If I extend the budget an additional $15 leaving $50 for the PSU?
  4. timaahhh said:
    Greg the Pentium e5400 should be quite a bit faster then the e4400 at stock speeds (all the specs are better are they not)?

    I'll also say it again, I will not be overclocking this build. So if you have a better CPU suggestion I would be interested in it based on its stock performance, not potential performance after overclocking

    As far as the PSU goes, what would you suggest instead? If I extend the budget an additional $15 leaving $50 for the PSU?


    Give me about 15 - 20 min. and I'l have a build posted on here that will run that game and fits your budget.
  5. There ya go. :)

    http://cmstore.coolermaster-usa.com/product_info.php?products_id=83 $19.99
    Centurion 5 Black w/Silver Trims ATX Mid Tower, W/O window, W/O PSU - Refurbished

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341021 $59.99
    OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ400FTY 400W ATX12V / EPS12V Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128380 $84.99
    GIGABYTE GA-EP43-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115206 $119.99 Free Shipping*
    Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 Wolfdale 2.8GHz 3MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127421 $159.99 ($144.99 after $15.00 Mail-In Rebate)
    MSI N250GTS-2D1G-OC GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail
    Free Call of Duty: World at War w/ purchase, limited offer(

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231122 $39.99 Free Shipping*
    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136074 $54.99 Free Shipping*
    Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136152 $24.99 Free Shipping*
    LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM

    Total: $564.92 *(not including shipping and rebates)

    With the 512 mb version.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130468 $139.99
    EVGA 512-P3-1150-TR GeForce GTS 250 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
    Free Call of Duty: World at War w/ purchase, limited offer

    Total: $522.92

    http://techgage.com/article/evga_geforce_gts_250_superclocked/ <=== test results for the gts 250 1 gig

    http://techreport.com/articles.x/16504 <=== more test results

    http://www.legitreviews.com/article/913/1/ <=== more test results

    http://www.ninjalane.com/reviews/video/palit_gts250 <=== more test results
  6. Being FSX and on a budget I would start with something like this:

    Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.165050

    If not that drop down to the PII X3
    Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.165028
  7. For a flight simulator you really want to go with a quad core if you can swing it. You might be better off following knotknut's advice with the budget you have.
  8. w/quad for that intel build

    http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=Q8200BOX Price: $167.99 Free Ground Shipping
    Intel Core 2 Quad Processor Q8200 2.33GHz 1333MHz 4MB LGA775 CPU, Retail

    Total: $570.92
  9. Have you seen the THG review of FS at:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cpu-gpu-upgrade,1928-10.html

    The review is a year old so it does not have the latest cpu and graphics cards, however it shows various video cards and processors - with some overclocks as well. What it seems to show is that, with respect to Intel processors, the speed of the processors is more important then whether it has two or four cores. Extrapolating from this, I would recommend going with a faster E7400 over a slower Q8200.
    It also confirms that for FS the cpu choice is relatively more important than the GPU compared to other game choices. It appears that 9600 GT should give excellent results when paired with the faster CPU - and some are on sale now for $70. You might want to consider a GS 250 which is a little faster than all of the ones on the year old review since it is based on the 9800GTX+, although you will pay $100-130 for what might be a small advantage.
    The review also shows the impact of overclocking the CPU. While I understand this does not interest you at this time, you might consider the benefits to be gained by simple OC of the FSB ratio to increase processor speed.
    Finally, you did not state what resolution and AA and AF settings you wish to use, which also makes a difference.
  10. Response to Timeaahh:

    The only system finally able to handle FSX at high settings, will involve the use of the newest i7 CPU & X58 MB.

    My previous system :
    E8400 dual core @ 3.0 GigHz
    ATI Radeon EAH Vid Card
    4 Gig DDR3 Patriot Ram 1333MHz
    X48c Platinum MB..................................

    The above noted system even when OC'd was barely able to run FSX at moderate settings..

    The system you quoted will probably be able to run FS 2004 decently, but not FSX ....

    Later...

    P.S. I am actually a pilot, & for years have been trying to put a system together to run FSX at the highest settings ..Only the advent of the i7 allows for that now. I am also using 6Gig DDR3 ram & Vista 64 bit...Will be switching to Windows 7 when possible..
  11. Im also looking to build a computer just for Flight Sim X and PMDG 747 and MD 11. Ive put together some components and was wondering if anyone would be willing to look at it and see if it sounds good?
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